Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
As you are most likely aware, we are beginning our Lenten journey much later this year than we have in past years. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6. About three weeks ago, I started surfing the web looking for ideas to incorporate into our upcoming Lenten Journey. As much as I would like to say that Lutherans do things the best, that isn’t always true. I frequent the different web pages from the National Church offices of our different ecumenical partners, and I think I struck gold.
I found a suggested approach to Lent on the United Methodist Church website. It was called "Lenten photo-a-day challenge” from 2017, and it sounded intriguing to me. I thought perhaps we could adapt it to 2019 dates and give it a try. Will you join me?
Lent is typically observed as a time of simple living, prayer and fasting leading up to Easter. But what is Lent REALLY about? Many spend the time in self-examination and reflection as modeled by Jesus in Matthew 4: 1-11 where he prayed and fasted for 40 days before beginning his ministry. What happened during those 40 days of fasting and praying in the wilderness?
Some might say that maybe Jesus needed some time with God to sort through the major changes happening in his life. Maybe he needed a break from family, friends and his regular routine in order to see God [and himself] more clearly. Maybe he sought more time with God as he searched for direction and answers to the question that we, too, have from time to time: "Who am I called to be?”
We, too, are invited into this time of introspection. As we journey through this season of Lent, some will choose to give up something. Some will go about their lives as if it was ordinary time. Some will choose to be more reflective. Some will take on something new and some may do what we did several years ago when we engaged in 40 days of kindness. Whatever your practices this season, will you join this photo-a-day challenge and share with All Saints and our community (via Facebook) how you perceive each word of the day? No explanation needed (unless you choose to). After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
You don't have to be a great photographer (trust me – I am FAR from it). This project is more about the practice of paying attention and being intentional, than it is using the right filter or getting the perfect shot (though I want to encourage you to get creative!). We’ll post the word of the day in our calendar and perhaps I could convince someone to help me send out a daily reminder via email for those of us who might need a gentle reminder. Then we will post your pictures to our ASLC Facebook page and perhaps make copies and post them around the church.
If you would like to take part in this project, you can text me your picture at (303) 564-0265 or email it to me at PastorPaul@AllSaintsLutheranCo.org. However you choose to enter into this time of Lent, I pray for faithful reflection and formation for us all! I suspect the Spirit will bring many exciting insights for us as we share with one another.
Pr. Paul <><
p.s. Did you know??? We will once again join our sisters and brothers from Eckert Presbyterian and Cedaredge Methodist Churches for Lenten Soup Supper followed by worship – beginning on March 13 @ 5:30 p.m. Please see the calendar for more specific information.
p.s.s. - Did you know that Luther said. . . . ??? "The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”